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Archives for: 2011
Nifty Gifties: Leave the Wrapping to Lush
12/11/11, 08:38:11 am, Categories: Beauty, Gifts, Nifty Gifties  

I am horrible at wrapping gifts. Generally speaking, a four-year-old could do a better job wrapping presents than yours truly. That's why I love Lush's selection of already wrapped gifts! Lush is a cosmetic company with a quirky flair and a wide selection of products that are natural, safe and non-offensive. Lush's selection of unique bath and body products, coupled with their adorable gift wrapping job, make these gifts absolute no-brainers! Here are my favorites.

Hello Gorgeous

The Lush Hello Gorgeous Gift Set

For $40, you can give the gift of pampering. This gift, from Lush, contains a moisturizer called Gorgeous (to leave skin silky, smooth and delicious) as well as a bath bomb, bath melt, shower gel and hand cream. And the best news? This little delight is all wrapped up and ready to roll.

Tin of Pure Imagination

The Lush Tin of Pure Imagination

This tin looks--and sounds--like oodles of funky fun times. It's filled with limited edition holiday bath treats, sugar scrub, lip scrub, shower jelly and solid toothpaste. This gift is perfect for the friend who likes to live life on the wild side.

Dirty Gift

Lush Gift for Men called Dirty Gift

This is one for the boys! Want to encourage good grooming for your guy friend? Look no further than the Dirty Gift from Lush. This collection contains mint shower gel, soothing sandalwood shaving cream, hair gel and tooth tabs (for sparkling, shining chompers). And the best part? It will come wrapped in man-friendly wrapping paper for under $30.

Once again, Lush has made it easy to impress your friends with creative, thoughtful and unique gifts. And if you liked these, check out Lush's website for TONS more wrapped gifts.

Archives for: 2011
Nifty Gifty: Cuffed Love
12/06/11, 07:56:44 am, Categories: Gifts, Nifty Gifties  

Layered leather cuffs are very in fashion right now. And for good reason. The right leather cuff (with the right studs or bling) is a great casual piece of jewelry that can be thrown on with any outfit to add instance jazz and sass factor.

Tory Burch Wrapped Leather Cuff

That's why I love Tory Burch's leather studded bracelet. This thin piece of double wrapped leather is adorned with Tory's infamous gold logo. Imagine how adorable this would look layered with gold bracelets or worn by itself! It's a great go-to piece. It's designer. And it's under $100. Impressive. That's why it's one of my nifty gifties.

Who would this be great for? Your stylish mom, your best life-long girlfriend or a sister. And this would also look great on YOUR list, too!

Archives for: 2011
Nifty Gifty: Chocolate Pizza
12/02/11, 08:12:08 am, Categories: Gifts, Nifty Gifties  

Pizza is really good. Chocolate is also really good. Give me a pizza made entirely of chocolate and now we’re talking.

Think that sounds too good to be true? It’s not. When I was in high school, my neighbors invented a tasty delight called the Chocizza—a chocolate pizza. My parents used to order these for parties and gatherings and these chocolate pizzas were delicious and perfect for entertaining. I’m older now, and I can see what a great gift idea a Chocizza could potentially be. That’s why it’s my Nifty Gifty number 46!

Chocizza Chocolate Pizzas

Chocizza’s contain chocolate “crust” topped with layers of other chocolate toppings. Some of the specialty pizzas include the Peanut Butter Cup Chocizza, a decadant combination of milk and dark chocolate, peanut butter cream, graham crackers, peanut butter chips and melted caramel drizzle. No. I won’t stop there.

Another awesome Chocizza is the Raspberry Crunch Chocizza. This one has milk and dark chocolate, raspberry cream filling, Oreo cookies, toffee bits and white chocolate chips.

Still not stopping. They also have a s’mores Chocizza and a mint Chocizza, among others. Even better? You can also create your own Chocizza using numerous chocolates, nuts, fillings, candies and drizzles. A delicious chocolate pizza…just for you.

Chocizzas make awesome treats for holiday parties as well as gifts for your friends or family. They’re also delightful little client gifts (and guaranteed to disappear in any office break room in under 90 seconds). Grab one of these to make any chocoholic smile this holiday season!

Archives for: 2011
Nifty Gifties: Gaga's Goodies
12/01/11, 06:58:48 pm, Categories: A Bucket Of Diamonds, Famous Fashion, Gifts, Nifty Gifties  

These gifts are from everyone’s favorite monster, Lady Gaga. To celebrate the release of her artistic (I’ve warned you) new video, I’ve picked a couple gifts that only she could dream up.

There are several things I want from Santa’s Lady Gaga’s workshop at Barney’s this holiday season. If you’re a fan of Gaga and her funky fashion, chances are you’ll be able to find something from Barney’s to tickle your monstrous fancy. All of the accessories and the apparel is ridden with studs, leather and bling. It really is, in my opinion, a fierce little gift shop. And this Nifty Gifty comes straight from Miss Gaga herself.

Lady Gaga Gem Moto Gloves from Barney's New York

These Gem Moto Gloves from A-Morir by Kerin.Rose are straight out of a Gaga video and are enough to make any regal lady feel like a rebel child. These gloves play with one of the juxtapositions I love most in the fashion world—badass meets chic. When you can correctly mix those two things you’ve mastered an imperative fashion concept.

While they may be a wee bit spendy—at $425—for someone who perpetually loses gloves (cough cough), the idea and design is fabulous. If Santa stuffed these in my stocking, I’d not complain. (Are you getting the feeling that Santa needs to have lots of disposable income?)

Lady Gaga Nutcracker Cookie

And if you really want to shop Gaga’s workshop on a budget, I would opt for the Lady Gaga Nutcracker Cookie. It’s a Nifty Gifty, too! And at under $20, it makes a hilarious treat for your favorite Gaga fan this year.

Archives for: 2011
Nifty Gifty: Lilly Pulitzer Sorority Print
11/30/11, 09:24:03 am, Categories: You Should Get It!, Gifts, Nifty Gifties  

If you know what it’s like to wake up at 6:00 a.m. and clap and chant ridiculously loud songs with your closet girlfriends, then this gift is for you. Sorority girls always have a soft spot for their sorority heritage. Kappa Alpha Theta alums love that kite; Chi Omega’s can’t get enough of the owl; and Kappa Kappa Gamma’s just love their fleur de lis. That’s why I love this Nifty Gifty.

Lilly Pulitzer now makes something for the sorority girl in all of us—something that’s subtly sorority so we can allow the legacy of our college days to live on long after we’re on campus. Lilly has designed prints for many of the major sororities.

She has prints for:
:: Alpha Delta Pi
:: Alpha Phi
:: Chi Omega
:: Delta Delta Delta
:: Delta Gamma
:: Delta Zeta
:: Kappa Alpha Theta
:: Kappa Delta
:: Kappa Kappa Gamma

Each of the prints is filled with important symbolic references significant to each sorority. And all of these prints can be applied to different merchandise options. While some of the merchandise is a little “collegiate” looking and more appropriate for active members, the piece I would wear is the scarf. It’s subtle and would be a nice piece for the sorority girl of any age who wants to keep a little piece of her college years close.

Lilly Pulitzer Sorority Print Scarves

For a gift with symbolic reference that helps you think of college years gone by, opt for the Lilly Pulitzer scarf in your sorority’s print.

Archives for: 2011
Nifty Gifty: Prada Candy
11/29/11, 01:44:46 pm, Categories: You Should Get It!, Beauty, Gifts, Nifty Gifties  

I was really bewildered by the name, but very attracted to the magenta, black and gold bottle. I was also very attracted to the letters P-R-A-D-A. (Funny how that happens.)

Prada Candy

I mean, if I wanted to smell like candy I might as well rub myself down in Raisinette’s. Right? Wrong. The perfumers at Prada have mastered the sophisticated scent of a sultry, sweet aroma—turning it into a delightfully sinful fragrance perfect for the feminine lady. Prada’s Candy is an ode to the temptingly sweet notion of bathing in chocolate, diving into a pool of jellybeans or tap-dancing on taffy.

I’ve been wearing Prada’s Candy for several days now and I’m in love with this succulent scent. Every time I spray it on, Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” begins to blast in my head…which I’m sure the makers of this perfume did not anticipate. This might just be my fragrance for 2012.

And if you’re looking for an alluringly sweet way to pamper yourself or the woman in your life, Prada’s Candy might be just the answer to all of your problems.

*Note to Santa: I would like the big bottle. Thanks!

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Archives for: 2011
For Charity and Chafing
11/10/11, 06:29:12 pm, Categories: You Should Get It!, Beauty  

Most of you are probably thinking, “Where the hell is Emily?” I can understand why you might think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. I haven’t blogged in days. And that’s likely attributed to the fact that I’ve been busy planning an upcoming fundraiser in all my spare time. One of the things I love to do is plan events—especially when those events help people. If you live in the Minneapolis area and want to join me for a night of fun and giving back, click here for more details.

Planning charity events is a lot of hard work. But there are ways you can give back without all the hours and work. You can show up to my event (if you’re in Minneapolis) or you can make smart purchases that contribute. My favorite smart purchase? Lush’s Charity Pot lotion.

Lush's Charity Pot Lotion

Lush’s Charity Pot lotion is fabulous for two big reasons. First off, 100% of the proceeds from the sell of this hefty pot of lotion go to charity. The charity is different every month and generally represents a grass roots charity from around the world. So by purchasing this lotion, you can support an amazing cause and learn about an organization trying to do some good.

And the second reason I love this lotion is because it smells like a big, sexy Tootsie Roll. The almond butter and cocoa butter in the lotion give it the soft aroma of warm chocolate.

Aside from smelling great, this really is a stellar product like most of Lush’s offerings. It’s super emollient, making it the perfect formula to slather all over your body during the long winter season. I use it during winter and summer and I love the soft luster it gives my skin. It's a winner. And now it's the only lotion I buy.

Go get yourself a pot of Charity Pot lotion by Lush, support this month’s charity and give back without even lifting a finger.

Archives for: 2011
Seeing Double
10/19/11, 08:33:22 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life, What I'm Wearing Today!  

Today I needed a coffee break. I headed to the nearest coffee shop in the mid-afternoon for a sweet, caffeinated treat. I got a treat alright. After ordering my coffee, I turned to look at the rack of greeting cards displayed in the coffee shop. And there, before my very eyes, was a satirical greeting card that looked like a mirror. Staring back at me was a greeting card that featured a fabulous four-year-old with blonde, curly hair dressed up in a pink trench coat with circular glasses on. And I just so happened to be a curly-haired blonde with circular glasses and a pink trench coat who often acts four.

Me and my twin!

Embarrassing? Maybe. A moment of pride? Perhaps. A moment of horror? Little bit. Upon my sudden realization of my greeting card sister, I whisked the cards around so no one could see my resemblance. It just seemed like too much to explain to a crowd of caffeine-hungry corporates dressed in black.

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Archives for: 2011
A Palm Beach State of Mind
10/17/11, 02:55:36 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life, Jet Setting  

I spent the weekend in Palm Beach, Florida. Let’s just clarify something: I really like it there. This was a birthday gift for myself. I figured I deserved a weekend away after several weeks of non-stop running, constant meetings and project after project. Hey, no one said it was easy being me.

Turns out everyone in Palm Beach is living the Pretty and Poor lifestyle. Well…not so much on the poor part. The pretty part? They wrote the book.

I’d love to share a little slice of my vacation with you. So, to help you understand why Palm Beach is the quintessential hub of the Pretty and Poor, here are the top five reasons I love Palm Beach.

5) The mall has a Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Burberry, Tory Burch, Saks and Nordstrom. Should I continue?

4) The local oyster bar has a loyalty club. I’m a member. And after just three days in town, I earned a reward and became the mayor on FourSquare.

3) Wearing sparkly hot pants to a restaurant is totally acceptable. Clarification: I did not wear sparkly hot pants. However, the woman sitting next to me did. And even though I judged, something about sparkly hot pants in Palm Beach just seemed okay. And for a moment in time, I was jealous…and sad that I forgot mine.

2) Being a lady of leisure is not frowned up. It’s encouraged.

1) Where else would you see a Maserati and a Bentley parked in the circle drive of an Outback Steakhouse?

So as I sit in the gloomy east terminal of the Saint Louis airport during my layover, I think that life might just be better lived as they live it in Palm Beach.

Palm Beach Saturday
How I spent my Saturday morning: a lazy poolside cabana in Palm Beach.

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Archives for: 2011
From Summer to Fall with Transitional Style

Here in Minnesota, it�s as if someone flips a switch and the temperature changes overnight. Suddenly, you go from sweltering days of sunshine to crisp, fall days with a certain coolness lingering in the air. This lasts for about two weeks, then it snows. To be honest, it feels like that switch has already been flipped this year. Over Labor Day weekend I found myself cold and searching for my favorite jeans and cardigans.
This is how the weather will be for the majority of Americans over the next couple months. We�ll experience times of heat, mixed with some mild temps and cold nights. That means you�ll need to be smart about layering and think about how you can maximize your summer wardrobe without looking like a fashion fool.

Here are two of my favorite ways to extend your warm weather wardrobe, layer smart and stay fashionable as the season transitions.

Keep wearing your cropped pants.
In fashion right now, there�s a vintage resurgence going on. Dresses with 70�s silhouettes are making a comeback. Plus, Banana Republic even picked up a line of looks inspired by Mad Men. Now is the time to capitalize on vintage-inspired looks. One way to do this is to show a little ankle. As shorts become less and less wearable, keep your cropped pants in the front of your closet. Pair these with a sleek turtleneck and a belt to have a mod look that�s all your own. Wear them with a tailored cardigan for prim and proper appeal. And don�t wear them with open toe shoes! Instead, chose a platform or kitten heel. With only your ankle showing, you�ll feel positively fall without any hint of a shiver.

Fall Fashion tip: Extend your wardrobe with cropped pants

>> Shopping tip: If you don�t have any cropped pants but want to try them out, check out Gap for some great cropped options.

Turn sheath dresses into jumpers.
I�m a huge fan of sheath dresses because they look so put-together and professional. Plus, they�re easy. If you�re a working girl, you know good and well the sheath dress is your friend. These work great in summer pair with nothing more than great heels and a bag, but for fall they�re not dead! You just have to add a few things! With a pair of tights and a thin, long-sleeved t-shirt, your sheath dress easily becomes a jumper. Pair that with some smart fall accessories and you�re set for an autumn extravaganza.

Sheath Dresses for Fall

>> Shopping tip: I always happen across smart sheath dresses at TJ Maxx.

Use this style inspiration to help you cleverly craft adorable outfits that take you from summer to fall�and beyond!

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Archives for: 2011
When Good Girls Go Bad
09/02/11, 10:20:47 am, Categories: Fashionable & Fun, Free Advice: Take It or Leave It  

I’m an overachieving first born. Are you shocked?

Because of this, I’ve gone through life holding myself to a really high (somewhat unattainable) set of standards. Thankfully, these standards have kept me out of trouble most of my life. I’ve never stolen anything and never really gotten in trouble with the law (except for some pesky parking tickets here and there). And there was never a time in my life when I felt the need to rebel against my parents and all of society. Welcome to the life of a first born, suburban-raised white girl.

On the flip side, I can totally see the appeal of living the rebellious lifestyle. In fact, the rush I get from wearing black nail polish makes me feel like a total outlaw. When I put black nail polish on, I feel like I’m really pushing the norm. In my head, everyone is looking at my nails and wondering things about my clandestine life.

“Is she goth?”
“A member of a motorcycle gang?”
“Is she a witch?”
“Ah, she must be an international spy.”
“Perhaps a bounty hunter…”

Because only gothic, motorcycle-riding international spies who also hunt criminals and practice witchcraft would wear black nail polish. Obviously.

In actuality, people are probably just thinking, “Wow. Black nail polish huh? Someone’s influenced by trends in Hollywood. Lindsay Lohan was wearing that like seventeen years ago.”

My love of black nail polish actually stems from the fact that I’m very intrigued by the juxtaposition of good and evil—and this is something that shows up in my personal style. I love the look of a Jackie O inspired sheath dress paired with a studded belt or tough, leather motorcycle jacket. Soft florals are awesome with chunky leather cuffs as accessories.

Good meets Evil Fashion

And that’s your style lesson for this week: play with pairing good and evil. Your outfits will become even more intriguing when you mix things up. Have a girly style? Try adding in shoes or accessories with a tough vibe or mix in a piece of jewelry with an edgy attitude. Have an alternative style? Do something wild by adding a bright, patterned scarf to your look. Or just wear a tailored dress with all of your tough-girl regalia.

The good news is, you don't have to rob a bank to feel like a bad girl. The right outfit can help you get more in touch with your wild side any day-- just add studs.

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Archives for: 2011
Waiting for Tonight
09/01/11, 11:59:33 am, Categories: A Little Piece of Fabulous  

It's Thursday night. If you're new to blogging or just sitting around thinking about what you should do this evening, join me and my pal Jaime for a webinar called "Facebook and the Fashion Blogger." The webinar will cover why your blog should be on Facebook as well as how you can use your facebook page to optimize readership and further connect with your audience.

Facebook and Fashion Blogger

Webinar: Facebook & the Fashion Blogger
Time: 8:00 p.m. CST
Register: Here. Space is limited to reserve your spot now.

And why should you care what Jaime and I have to say about all of this?

Jaime is a renowned denim blogger I started following a couple years ago. Turns out she's also a social media maven and marketing-minded lady just like myself. She's turned all of this into a business called Debutante Media. Through Debutante Media, Jaime helps bloggers master the business of blogging. She has successful blogs. She helps other people start successful blogs. She's helped companies harness the power of blogging. Seriously, this girl's got it going on.

And me?
Well, obviously you visit this site which is reason enough to show me some more love. But aside from my fashionably frivolous ramblings, I actually know a thing or two about audience engagement. When I'm not blogging on Pretty and Poor I work in marketing. I develop communications strategies for some big names and counsel people on public relations, social media and the digital world. Tonight I get to blend all that marketing knowledge with fashion--you're going to want to experience the magic.

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Archives for: 2011
Three Fall Trends From ELLE

There’s nothing a girl loves more than sitting in the hair salon getting pampered. It’s even better when an ice cold Diet Coke and a fashion magazine are part of the mix. Thankfully, this scene made up part of my weekend—I kicked back for some root therapy with a cool drink and the September issue of ELLE Magazine. While paging through the fashion ads and commentary, I came across three trends I love. I wanted to share those with you so you could incorporate them into your fall wardrobe to be the most fashion forward person possible.

Animal Print

Animal Print Trend

Duh. This is always on trend. And for those of you who still aren’t incorporating well-placed animal prints into your outfits, you’re falling behind. This year, the hot print will be snakeskin. If you can incorporate one snakeskin piece into your wardrobe this year you’ll look like you’ve got a firm grasp of fashion. Snakeskin shoes? Yesssss, please. A snakeskin sheath dress? Now that’s what I call ssssmokin’. A snakeskin clutch? Sssoooo sssssophisticated. Get the point? Snakeskin’s hot this season.

Tortoise Shell

Tortoise Shell Trend

Two years ago I bought a pair of tortoise shell platform pumps on clearance. No one else wanted them—but I thought they were so vintage and sophisticated. At nearly 80% off, they seemed like a fabulous buy but they’re not fully paying off until now. This fall and winter, tortoise shell accessories are going to be big. Shoes will definitely get you noticed, as will bracelets or bags. Choose a tortoise shell that’s shiny and vibrant. And remember, you can wear tortoise shell with a variety of colors because it’s essentially a neutral. But as a tip, I especially dig it with bright jewel tons like emerald greens, royal blues, vibrant fuchsias and deep burgundies.

The Versace Look

Versace Trend

The look that Versace made famous is getting a bit of a resurgence. Regal looking Grecian prints in bright colors and fancy finishes will make even the most sophisticated fashionista look supreme this season. If you’re a vintage fan, my advice to you would be to find once vintage Versace piece that tickles your fancy and rock that. Whether as a scarf, shirt, dress, skirt or accessory, there’s nothing wrong with feeling a little gilty when you’re wearing something this fabulous.

Intrigued by what I’ve highlighted here? My advice to you would be to grab a copy of ELLE’s September issue. There are pages upon pages full of more fun fall trends that you can easily incorporate into your look.

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Archives for: 2011
Pretty Proclamation
08/26/11, 08:24:52 am, Categories: Pretty Proclamations  

While watching What Not To Wear the other night, I was reminded of why I love clothes. I love clothes because I've seen how they make women feel. I've seen a good pair of jeans turn a bad day into a bold one. I've seen the right shoes add a passionate kick to a woman's stride. And I've seen the perfect outfit make a woman feel pretty.

“While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence—which, I believe, does make the woman."

~Mary Kay Ashe, who gets it right on the money. And that's why I love clothes.

Archives for: 2011
A Party...On My Pants!

Last year one of my friends gave me the nickname Chief Crazypants. I earned this title by wearing a pair of bright red-orange jeans out one night. Those jeans are fabulous. In an effort to uphold my title (and stay true to my own personal brand), I'm wearing these today.

Tory Burch Bermuda Shorts

What can I say? I love a good pair of crazy pants, especially when they're a floral wonderland of colors and shapes.

My belief? People, generally don't have enough fun with their pants. There are tons of patterned tops, accessories and more, but when it comes to pants people seem to err on the simple side. If you go shopping this weekend, I dare you to venture over to the wild side. Leave those serious slacks for someone else and remember that only bitches wear boring britches. Kick it in some crazy pants.

Like my crazy pants? They're the Katie Bermuda short by Tory Burch.

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Archives for: 2011
Your 15 Minutes Are Up
08/15/11, 07:53:20 pm, Categories: Let's Judge!, Gossip!  

They lasted a long, agonizing few years, but Kate Gosselin's 15 minutes of fame might finally be coming to an end. Today, TLC announced that they were canceling Kate Plus 8.

In a statement they said, “TLC has decided not to renew another season of Kate Plus 8. By the end of this season Kate Plus 8 will have hit the 150 episode mark (including Jon & Kate Plus 8); an exceptional milestone. TLC hopes to check in with Kate and the family periodically with specials in the future.”

And just for old time's sake, let's see the haircut that turned this reality TV star into a Halloween costume...

Kate Gosselin Hair

Photo courtesy of celebritiesheight.com

Archives for: 2011
Tara Reid Married?
08/15/11, 01:39:17 pm, Categories: Let's Judge!, Gossip!  

It must be so weird to be Tara Reid. A few years back, she flashed everyone her second-rate boob job at a red carpet event. Now she manages to make a mockery of her days-old marriage.

Here's the scoop: Over the weekend Tara Reid tweeted that she was engaged. She said, "I just got engaged." Then, hours later she tweeted, "Greece married." Then, hours after that she tweeted, "Love in Greece...I am now a wife."

Tara Reid Twitter

Okay. Does anyone speak Tara Reid? As if those tweets weren't hard enough to follow, the plot thickens. Gossip mavens and diehard Tara Reid fans speculated that the new hubby was her boyfriend Michael Lilleund who she's been dating since November (when they met in Saint Tropez, of course). Then we learn that (shocker!) she actually married some dude named Zack Kehayov, according to her tweets.

So now Ms. Reid Mrs. Kehayov is engaged and married in the same day, to a guy that's supposedly not her boyfriend? Oh Tara, you never fail to keep things classy.

Archives for: 2011
The New “It” Bag: The Clutch
08/12/11, 12:58:38 pm, Categories: Fashionable & Fun, You Should Get It!, A Little Piece of Fabulous  

Clutches are in. They were never really out. But right now, clutches are the “it” bag to have. And the good news is they’re not just for evening attire anymore—in fact, true master fashionistas are clutching for day and night.

Giant, oversized, clunky bags are still great for the working girl to pack her life in. (Don’t purge your designer purse collection.) But update your look and show that you’re a modern style maven by holding onto something dear. The “less is more” mentality is gaining popularity and as it does, the clutch will have a greater presence in fashion.

Take a look at these adorable clutches that can be paired with day or night outfits.

Balenciage Envelope Clutch

The Balenciaga Envelope clutch is a fashion blogger’s dream. And at $945.00, it might have to remain just that. But if you’re willing to shell out the dough for this one, it’s a long-term investment that will get you noticed for all the right reasons.

Yves Saint Laurent Belle de Jour Clutch

Slightly more stomachable, staking in around half the price of the Balenciaga, is the Belle de Jour Clutch by Yves Saint Laurent. This striking jewel tone bag is an instant classic and one that will be in style for the rest of your life.

BCBGeneration Clutch

And if you want to get things below the $100 range, this BCBGeneration Edith Clutch is a great alternative to spending a fortune. Available at Macy’s, this bag is a trendy way look high fashion without going overboard.

Clutches have been around the fashion carousel—they’ve been in style for generations. So it’s no surprise that some of my most coveted clutches (I probably have around 15) were found at vintage and second-hand stores. Some of them are one-of-a-kind pieces in today’s age. And the best news? I paid just dollars for them.

If you’re wondering what bag to grab this fall, think smaller. Your big bags will certainly still have their place in your wardrobe, but it’s finally time to give your back a rest. Clutch it instead!

Archives for: 2011
An Ode to Originality
08/11/11, 03:38:21 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life, Free Advice: Take It or Leave It  

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But quite frankly, imitation makes me gag. Bethenny Frankel said it best on Twitter last month when she said she finds it to be “the lowest form of no originality.”

Originality. There’s a novel idea. Whatever happened to originality?

Over the course of the last three years I have dealt with countless people who have also started blogs called Pretty and Poor (or some variation thereof). Some might think that I would be delighted to have a crowd of second-rate writers attempt to follow in my footsteps. But I’m not delighted. I’m actually disgusted. Copying someone else’s idea is not a very nice thing to do, it’s also not a very noble thing to do. And the best part? It’s illegal. That’s because we live in a country where intellectual property is protected. When someone has a great idea, they have a right to protect that idea so that it may someday grow into their dream.

When I started this blog, I can confirm that there was no other website called Pretty and Poor around. That’s because I checked. Extensively. I did comprehensive searches related to this domain and brand name so that I could use it for my own personal and business goals. Not so other people could steal my idea and benefit from it.

As a classically trained journalist who was educated at the world’s foremost school for journalism (ah-hem) I know a thing or two about what it means to copy another’s work. Bloggers, do your homework. Use Google. Search. If the blog idea you come up with already exists and has thousands of followers, here’s some advice: come up with a better idea.

And on that note, Pretty and Poor (the blog you are currently visiting) was the first—the original—Pretty and Poor. This blog was created in 2008 for the sole purpose of providing you with fabulous, frivolous content and it remains a staple in any online fashionista’s reading repertoire. This blog is in no way affiliated with any other site bearing the same name or bearing an eerily similar name.

So here’s your lesson for today. Would you enjoy showing up to a swanky party wearing the same outfit as someone else?

Hmm...that’s what I thought.

Archives for: 2011
I Got 99 Problems But A Chip Ain't One
08/10/11, 09:25:58 am, Categories: You Should Get It!, My Lovely Life, Beauty  

If you’re having nail problems, I feel bad for you hun. I got 99 problems, but a chip ain’t one.

Here’s the thing. Chipped nail polish drives me batty. Once I get a chip in my picture-perfect manicure, I can’t stop thinking about how awful it looks. Fixing that chip becomes top priority. And generally, fixing the chip means I end up painting all my fingernails over again. Which—from start to dry—is an hour-long commitment.

I don’t actually have time for that. So my fingernails are generally chipped and I'm emotionally disturbed.

But not anymore. Ever since I discovered the most amazing revolution in nail polish technology, I’ve spent day-after-day with the perfect manicure. No chips.

About six months ago, my nail salon introduced me to a very special breed of nail polish—a shellac or lacquer that looks just like normal polish. No, this is not the gel that contributes to those awful giant, puffy-looking French manicures and horrible acrylic nails. This gel looks just like a nail polish and goes on just like a nail polish. There’s no damage to your natural nail. You get a glossy, uber-tough manicure that looks natural and lasts for weeks. You don’t, however, get any of the chipping.


How It Works

The lacquer is polished onto your own nails similar to regular nail polish. Then, after each coat, you put your hands under UV lights for around a minute. While this takes a little bit longer than a regular manicure, the results last oodles longer. And guess what? There’s no drying time. Your polish is done after the last coat—no sitting around at the drying station. So in that sense, you actually end up saving time. And you don’t end up getting chips or dings on your nails when you dig around in your purse or start your car.

My Lacquer Manicure

This manicure is three days old and there are no chips in sight! Two weeks from now it will still be shiny and new!

If you’re interested in trying this amazing mani out, I say do it. Ask your nail salon if they have the shellac or gel nail polish. You can also ask for it by brand name. The OPI brand of this product is called Axxium, and you can read all about it here. CND also makes a brand called Shellac. I’ve tried both and found that each worked very well.

So far, I’ve found that you can get a manicure with this tough new polish for around $30-$40 in a typical nail salon. And you do have to get it removed or changed in a nail salon, too—traditional nail polish remover has no effect on this stuff.

With a manicure that lasts two to three weeks without chipping, you’ll find time to focus the other 99 problems life hurls your way. Good luck with that.

Archives for: 2011
Pretty Proclamation
08/09/11, 01:25:27 pm, Categories: Pretty Proclamations  

Today's Pretty Proclamation made me smile.

"Some girls are just born with glitter in their veins."

~Paris Hilton, who reminds us that you've either got it, or you don't. And if you're the kind with glitter running through your blood, by all means, flaunt your fabulousness!

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Archives for: 2011
Cocktail Time: A Country Club Classic
07/22/11, 06:48:44 pm, Categories: Did Someone Say Cocktail?  

Summer just wouldn’t be summer without some heavy boozing! That’s why I’m going to share my new favorite drink with you—a drink that has been described as the official country club drink of Minnesota (according to an article in CityPages).

I originally had this refreshingly zesty beverage sitting on the patio of Brit’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis. The temperature was approaching 90 degrees and I was wilting like a rose in the summer heat. The waiter approached me to ask what I’d like to drink and I couldn’t think of anything that sounded cool and crisp enough for the setting. The former sorority girl in me muttered, “maybe like vodka and lemonade?” But the waiter just looked at me and said, “How about a bootleg?”

I agreed. And the creation that was delivered to my table five minutes later was astounding. It was like a mix between lemonade and a mojito. Ah, the bootleg was love at first sip.

Brit's Pub Bootleg

The bootleg at Brit’s Pub is tops. But, if you can’t make it to Brit’s (or any other Minnesota club) you can craft your own version at home. Here’s what you’ll need for this summer masterpiece:

1 shot of vodka (Miss Emily likes Ketel One)
3 shots of lemonade
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped mint leaves
Seltzer water
Crushed ice
Lemon wedge

Here’s what to do. Fill a pint glass with the crushed ice. Then, pour the shot of vodka over the ice. (You an add a little more vodka if you want.) Add the teaspoon of freshly chopped mint leaves. Then, pour the lemonade into the glass. Top the glass off with seltzer water. Garnish with the lemon wedge.

Once the cocktail is complete, give that sucker a stir and enjoy. You’ll love the light taste of this cocktail. It’s a fun take on vodka and lemonade—the mint is a nice surprise.

Put your pearls on, pop your collar, and let me know what you think about the Bootleg. Enjoy!

Archives for: 2011
Sunless Tanner! Buy One Get One FREE!
07/21/11, 02:10:52 pm, Categories: You Should Get It!, Beauty  

Update: This promotion has ended. But check back often for other great promos from some of P&P's favorite partners.

Free sunless tanner? Yes, please.

Beautisol sunless tanner is good stuff. I've blogged about Beautisol in the past because it really gives me an amazing, streak-free color for summer (or any time). I've basically stopped tanning altogether. Sure, there are times when I find myself lying on a yacht in the hot, hot sun...but I digress. The point is, I'm not interested in getting skin cancer or aging prematurely. That's why I rely on high-quality sunless tanners these days.

Free Beautisol

If you're looking for a great tan, I suggest you try Beautisol. Right now, you can get a bottle FREE with your purchase of Summer Glow or All Seasons Glow. I love the All Seasons Glow because it gives me JUST the right amount of color year-round. Here's how to get yours.

1. Head to Beautisol
2. Add the Summer Glow or All Seasons Glow of your choice to your cart, then, add a second bottle
3. At checkout enter the code B1G1F132

You'll only have to pay for ONE of the bottles! How cool is that? If you try the Beautisol tanners, please let me know what you think. These work wonderfully for my skin, so I'm a big fan. Enjoy!

Archives for: 2011
Obsessed With the Dress!
07/20/11, 08:36:22 pm, Categories: Fashionable & Fun, You Should Get It!  

I may have a new favorite dress designer, ladies, so listen up! I am in love with the look of Analili right now. Perhaps it’s because we’re in the heat of summer and her designs look like they’re straight from Ocean Drive. Perhaps it’s because I love her bright colors and bold patterns. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been in a super-sassy mood lately and her frocks embody all things sassy! Any way you slice it, Analili’s sexy dresses embody girly creativity.

This past weekend I wore an Analili dress to a wedding. It was perfect for dancing the night away. And it was super flattering. Win-win? You bet.

Analili Dress

While these hot little gems are hard to find (in my experience), they’re well worth the fight. I’ve only found a few boutiques in my area that carry Analili designs, but I’ll be on the hunt for a regular provider. Check out more about Analili and all the designs here.

Archives for: 2011
I Was Right, Suckers!
06/30/11, 12:53:16 pm, Categories: Free Advice: Take It or Leave It  

Retail therapy is just as good as sitting in a psychologist's office every week! Think I'm joking? My friends at The Harvard Business Review said it best in an email this morning:

"Shopping as "therapy" is effective at elevating mood, and it doesn't lead to buyer's regret. All of the shoppers in a research sample said they had bought themselves a treat during the past week—ranging from a fishing reel to a kitchen magnet—and 62% of the treat purchases were motivated by a desire to repair a bad mood, say A. Selin Atalay of HEC Paris in France and Margaret G. Meloy of Penn State. Asked about their post-purchase feelings, 82% of participants had only positive things to say. There seem to be few, if any, downside consequences of retail therapy, the researchers say.

So there you have it. Chanel is every bit as effective as therapy and comes with a better PPW. Shop on, baby!

Archives for: 2011
Theme It!
06/16/11, 03:27:27 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life, A Little Piece of Fabulous  

Themed days are good for the soul. Don’t believe me? Try it! Today was “Nautical Day” at my office (I had absolutely nothing to do with that). We all dressed in our most fabulous—and funniest—nautical attire. This theme allowed people to be creative, share funny memories and stories of what they were wearing, add sparkle to the common workday and come together for a shared reason (even if that reason was dressing like a sailor).

Nautical Outfit

I went a little over-the-top with my Nautical ensemble. But when else can you wear a striped Tory Burch dress with an anchor-print scarf and anchor earrings? Oh well, at least it made a mundane Thursday fun! And Nautical Day was a competition. I was in it to win it!

Now, not every office is like mine (we’re a pretty unique bunch), but I think themes are great. Add one to your next party, book club meeting, girl’s night in, board meeting, wedding or christening. Ahoy!

Archives for: 2011
Annie Ladino and Shop It To Me
06/15/11, 05:36:41 pm, Categories: Fashionable & Fun, Famous Fashion  

Today, Shop It To Me (which I blogged about here) announced that they brought on Annie Ladino as their new chief stylist. In their email, they made sure to share that Ladino has dressed ladies such as Julia Roberts, Brooklyn Decker, and Gwyneth Paltrow...you may have heard of them.

Anyway, Annie's style is definitely rad. She does an awesome job mixing luxe frocks with just the right accessories to achieve a purely put together effect. And she likes animal prints, so she's A-O-K in my book! As part of the announcement, Shop It To Me supplied me with a list of Ladino's key trends for Summer. I was happy to see some of my favorites made her list. Here, take a look.

Annie Ladino Trends

My take on her list? Awesome. While some of you may be shaking your head at the thought of a neoprene resurgence, I say buckle up. I have a slight obsession with anything that resembles a wetsuit so this is one trend I'd like to try (and with Ladino saying it's a go, there's never been a better time)!

I love neons and brights, so I'll definitely be wearing my colors with pride.

And animal print? Oh girl.

As for the jumpsuits...I really like them on other people, but have yet to find one that looks decent on me. But I'm trying. And it's the effort that counts.

What do you think about Annie Ladino's summer trends? Will you be trying any?

PPS: If you're not a member of Shop It To Me, click here to get going!

Archives for: 2011
So, How's the Weather?
06/14/11, 04:30:04 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life, A Sad Day For Fashion  

Every morning I wake up and promptly check The Weather Channel app on my iPhone. I do this before peeing, brushing my teeth or showering. You see, that darn Weather Channel app has more influence over what I’ll wear any given day than Anna Wintour ever dreamed of having.

Essentially, the weather dictates what I put on each day. I came to this realization several days ago…several days ago when the temperature refused to climb above 55 degrees and I had a closet full of cute dresses waiting to be worn. It got me thinking: are there other parts of the United States where people just wake up and put on whatever they want? Do they live in a place that has abundant sunshine, moderately warm temperatures and summer breezes—a place where you can wear whatever you want?

I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We have really long winters here. And every winter I dress like a sasquatch. This lasts for approximately six months. Then we have this cool, rainy period before summer happens. Sometimes it rains, other times the temperature dips back down and it snows. This is the part of the year that hurts most because while I want to wear summer clothes I can’t because it could still technically snow. Memo to Minnesota: nobody likes a tease, sister.

Looks Like Rain
Weather like this has me thinking that galoshes are the new black.

And then we have summer. This would be considered spring in most parts of the world except this really only lasts for the month of July. Those 70-degree days really heat things up. And at night? Well, girls, pack your cardigans and prepare to shiver.

Fall? It lasts for 4 days. Just long enough for the leaves to fall and snow to stick on the ground. And that brings us back to winter.

When I was growing up on the east coast and attending college in Missouri, I remember having a closet full of shorts, sundresses, hats and tank tops in lightweight, breathable fabrics. Now? I can barely remember what a sundress is. Linen? Fuhgetaboutit. Shorts? I have like two pairs. The climate has sadly taken a tool on my wardrobe—and in a way I don’t like.

To me, fun summer fashion is defined by frilly styles, loose fabrics, light colors and showing some skin. Maybe one day I’ll break free from the Weather Channel app that binds me and wear whatever I want despite the weather. Sure, everyone will think my looks are wildly inappropriate and I’ll be uncomfortable but I’ll be happy letting my mood have more say over my look than mother nature.

Archives for: 2011
Real Models, Real Value: 365Hangers Giveaway!
06/10/11, 07:07:42 am, Categories: Fashionable & Fun  

Picture this! You’re sitting behind your laptop with a latte in hand shopping for a great designer dud at a good price. (Note: Chances are you’re supposed to be writing a brief, working on a presentation, paying bills or studying while you’re doing this. It’s okay. Everyone needs distractions.) While surfing your favorite department store’s site, you come across a gorgeous dress (hurry, picture a gorgeous dress). You read about the dress, notice the price ain’t too shabby and decide to add it to your magical online cart! You scroll to the drop-down menu to select a size. You look at the picture of the dress once more, look at the sizes, think about your size….look at the fabric….think about maybe going up a size or down a size, and then finally just pick the size you always get. Three days later, you get the gorgeous dress in the mail, run to your bedroom to try it on and discover that said gorgeous dress looks awful on your frame. The lines are all wrong. Your curves hit in all the wrong places. It puckers and pooches. Your online shopping endeavor is a huge fail.

Now picture this! A company that shows deeply discounted designer clothing on models that represent the actual sizes of the clothing. Your gorgeous dress pictured on a model who’s your size. Wouldn’t that make choosing the perfect dress SO much easier.

It’s a smart idea. And it’s a reality. Los Angeles based 365Hangers is using this very concept to sell designer goodies at great prices. 365Hangers is an online retailer that features always-changing designer duds. You don’t need a membership to shop 365Hanger’s selection and they don’t send you daily emails or anything like that. It’s just a site you can shop for designer clothes that are majorly on sale—they promise at least 70% off all the time.

So yes, if 365Hangers has a Diane Von Furstenberg dress in a size 10, you’ll see a DVF dress on a size 10 model. That means you can actually see how that piece of clothing fits a body similar to yours. The room for online shopping errors minimized.

Design History Dress from 365Hangers

This dress by Design History, is shown in a sizie large on model who wears that size. Plus, it’s only $29.00—with my $30 giveaway (see details below), you could get it free!

Patterson J Kincaid Dress from 365 Hangers

This dress by Patterson J. Kincaid is shown in a size x-small on an x-small model. Another steal at only $38.00, this dress could be a real find if you won my giveaway!

I’ve never purchased anything from 365 Hangers but other bloggers have said good things. And even though I’ve never made a purchase, I can stand behind a company that has a realistic approach to displaying their clothing—and a realistic approach to female body image.

Here’s your chance to TRY 365Hangers even before I have! They’ve offered to give one lucky Pretty and Poor gal $30 towards a purchase on their site! And there’s no minimum purchase—so you could snag your next dress for free. Entering is easy. Here’s what you need to do for your chance to win the $30 credit.

Mandatory Entry:
Visit the 365Hangers site and pick your favorite item—come back here and leave a comment about your favorite item (leave a link too, I'll want to go scope it out). Click here to start your shopping trip!

Additional Entries:
Follow 365 Hangers on Twitter! Come back to this post and leave a comment telling me you're following them!

Like 365 Hangers on Facebook. Come back to this post and leave a comment telling me you like them!

That's three comments for up to three chances to win! This giveaway will end on Thursday, June 16, 2011! Get busy and tell ALL your friends! And let me know what you think about 365Hangers!

Archives for: 2011
The Dress That Keeps on Dressing
06/09/11, 10:28:21 am, Categories: What I'm Wearing Today!  

I'm posting today's outfit for two reasons.

1) Because I love it. This dress is seriously one of my top five favorite things to wear. I bought it about three years ago. It's wild. It's crazy. It's very loud. But it's something that I feel feminine and fabulous in.

2) To show you that you can wear a loud pattern or print well by minimizing all other adornments like accessories and make-up. For example, today I've kept my make-up very muted (which is unusual for me) and only worn a few key accessories (earrings and a gold bangle). I'm wearing nude heels which also don't compete with my dress.

DVF Dress with Chanel Earrings and Nine West heels

Now that's what I call perfect outfit harmony.

What I'm wearing? Dress by Diane Von Furstenberg, Earrings by Chanel, Shoes by Nine West.

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Archives for: 2011
New Favorite: Freya Swimwear

I have a confession: This year was the first year I really, really hated shopping for a swimsuit. Normally, buying a swimsuit ain’t no thing for me. I’m confident, I like adore myself, I have an arsenal full of self-tanner and bronzer to slather on before the big shopping trip—swimsuit shopping should have been a breeze. But this year was quite different. I found myself wandering from store to store grumpy, pouting and completely disengaged from the task at hand.

Prior to my excursion, I was feeling really good about swimsuit shopping. Thanks to my die-t (emphasis on the die), I dropped around 15 pounds for summer. Lighter, less lumpy….what could be the problem?

Well apparently there were a whole slew of problems I never even thought about.

My first stop was Macy’s. Tons of adorable suits to try on. Tons of bandeau tops. Tons of denial. After trying on no less than 47 swimsuits, I snapped out of denial and had my very first realization of the day.

#1: Bandeau tops are all the rage right now. Yes, I love bandeau tops. No, I cannot wear them. Why, you ask? The essence of a bandeau top is that it has no straps. No straps is a no-go for people with boobs.

Instantly, the swimsuit pool had been cut in half. Which is too bad. After all, I just read a statistic that said the average cup size for women in America is a D cup. I don’t know too many D cups that can successfully pull off the bandeau top (unless they don’t plan on moving).

Following my down-and-out luck at Macy’s I ventured on to Nordstrom where I found a slew of adorable suits by Trina Truk and Badgley Mischka—a slew of adorable suits that ended up looking wildly inappropriate. That’s when I had swimsuit shopping realization numero dos.

#2: While I’ve lost fifteen pounds, none of that poundage came from my upper region.

In desperation, I spilled my dilemma to the Nordstrom employee. She instantly turned my day around by introducing me to Freya—a lingerie company that also makes swimwear. I was pleasantly surprised. If you have boobs and want to wear swimsuits that are sexy, you HAVE to check out Freya. Game changer.

Even though Nordstrom only had a couple styles in the Freya brand, I picked up one complete suit in a sassy red, black and yellow print (called the Flamingo print, appropriately). And get this: the suit looks young, modern and sexy. This was surprising, because so many options that actually fit girls with ta-tas are matronly and dated. The other alternative is looking scantily clad and wildly inappropriate…which I’ve seen my share of. Freya, however, has it right on. I was able to get cute tie bottoms (i.e. normal girl swim bottoms) with a bikini top that actually provided coverage. Here’s the suit I got.

Freya Swimsuit

Oh yeah, PS: That’s not my body.

After visiting Freya’s website and checking out their full range of bikinis, I could see my little obsession becoming an issue—all of those cute tops. All made to fit!

Freya, if you’re listening, you’re nothing short of genius. You’ve created a fan for life. No more will I scour the racks of subpar swimwear in search of something that looks good…I’ll just log on to your site and pick exactly what I want. And the best news? I haven’t even begun to explore your other goods yet!

Archives for: 2011
Walk Tall and Wear Big Shoes

"Ask not what you can do for your shoes, ask what your shoes can do for you!"

A wise woman (ahem, me) once uttered the above statement as she sat down to write a blog post one prolific day (today). You see, earlier she’d had an epiphany of epic feminine proportions.

It all started when she began to think about her shoes. You see, one day she arrived at the office wearing flat shoes and everyone made a huge deal about it.

“Gasp!” Her coworkers said in unison as she rounded the cubicle walls. “You’re so short. You look so different.”

Different, indeed. You see, this wise woman’s flat shoes had shaved inches off her height and feet off her ego. One gentleman even stopped to talk to her about her choice of footwear.

“Oh wise one,” he said. “You’re just wasting away. You just look so tiny today.”

“Wasting away?” The wise woman was horrified (yet delighted) at such a statement. You see, this wise woman had been described as a lot of things but never as someone who was wasting away. Perhaps his comment meant she looked ridiculously skinny (yippee). Yet perhaps this odd accusation had something to do with her lack of height.

“Could it be that I’m not wearing shoes that make me nearly six feet tall?” The wise girl questioned her accuser.

He agreed. She looked tiny and meek because her height had taken a hit. It had nothing to do with “wasting away.” It had everything to do with her choice in footwear. And it is through this story that we learn a very important lesson.

The right shoes mean more than just an adornment you put on your feet. The right shoes project the message you want to send to the world. (Let’s hope that message isn’t delivered in the form of Teva sandals, ladies.)

Sergio Rossi Heel

In my case, my shoes portray the little power bitch inside of me, just waiting to burst out. They portray confidence and assurance.

Good ole’ Uncle Teddy said to “walk tall and carry a big stick.” But carrying sticks is so last year. My take? Walk tall and wear big shoes.

Archives for: 2011
Racking Up the Deals
05/24/11, 02:13:25 pm, Categories: Fashionable & Fun  

I’ve got a shopping style all my own. We’ve talked about this before. Sometimes I shop at thrift stores, other times I tear up Neiman Marcus—it’s eccentric to say the least. On any given day, my outfit could contain several designer items as well as homemade vintage relics. The important thing is that my style is really all my own—everything just “goes together.”

But despite my erratic shopping habits, one store that I can’t get enough of lately is Nordstrom Rack. Several days ago I was having a challenging day. What does Emily do to cure the challenging day blues? Duh. Shopping. So after work, I drove myself up to Nordstrom Rack to poke around. Poke around, indeed. After an hour and half of poking I emerged with a Tory Burch top, two pairs of Joe’s Jeans (one pair cropped Cigarette jeans and the other The Socialite), a pair of white Citizens for Humanity jeans (which undoubtedly means that my “die-t” is paying off since at one point last year a lack of butt space had prevented me from indulging in Citizens), a cute black lace top and a pair of black stilettos. And while this was undoubtedly more than I’d set out to buy, I got a steal. Yes. I essentially saved money by spending money (this rationale works especially well with the men folk).

Here, I’ll prove it. Had I bought all of these goodies for full price at the real Nordstrom, my tab would have looked a little something like this:

Tory Burch Top: $225.00
Joe’s Cropped Cigarette Jeans: $165.00
Joe’s Socialite Jeans: $174.00
Citizen’s For Humanity White Denim Jeans: $168.00
Cute black lace top: $40.00
Black Stilettos: $100.00

Grand Total: $872.00

But, since I got everything at Nordstrom Rack, my total was under $350! For all those jeans! And Tory Burch!

No matter how much money you’re rolling in, getting a great deal on good stuff (and not spending as much as you need) always feels awesome!

What store is your “old faithful” for steals and deals? Where can you always count on a therapeutic shopping spree that won't bust your bank account? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Archives for: 2011
The Perfect Summer Dress
05/19/11, 12:46:28 pm, Categories: Fashionable & Fun, Would You Wear It?, Dresses  

This enchanting blue dress by Diane von Furstenberg, the Gyls Dress, just made the top of my summer shopping list. Shirt dresses are perfect for summer because of their easy, breezy, button-up style. But the length, color and belting on this dress have got it going on!

Diane von Furstenberg Gyls Dress

You could wear this with metallic flip-flops for a casual day of shopping in Bal Harbour. You could pair it with big wedges and glitzy jewels for a night on the town. The versatility gives this $345.00 frock a great Price Per Wear (PPW).

Tell me what you think about the Gyls Dress from Diane von Furstenberg in the comments section.

Archives for: 2011
An Impassioned Pout
05/18/11, 02:29:55 pm, Categories: You Should Get It!, Beauty  

Someone once told me, “Slap a little lipstick on. You’ll be fine.” (Actually, I read it in a book. Click here for details.) But really, what doesn’t lipstick fix? In my opinion, a little color on your lips is an instant way to look more put together, more polished and sometimes even evoke a certain mood. In some cases, the right hue is a much needed confidence boost—a way of recharging your battery before walking into the big, bad world.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been sporting hot pink lips courtesy of MAC this week. The color is in between a red and hot pink and it’s called Impassioned. Appropriately so. You’ve gotta’ be one passionate kind of woman to sport a color like this.

MAC Impassioned Lipstick

And the passion is rubbing off—nearly every friend and colleague I’ve come in contact with over the last few days has commented on my lip color. How’s that for brightening someone’s day?

How am I wearing the color Impassioned?
I’m sporting a very light make-up look all around, with a pop of color on the lips. My eyes are dusted in nude shades and lined with a hint of glam black liner. I’ve topped that off with black mascara. My cheeks are dusted with a faint salmon colored blush and some bronzer. The lipstick is the focal point of the make-up look. Paired with light make-up (like I have it), it’s a fun way to usher in the warm colors of spring and summer! Click here to get your own tube.

Archives for: 2011
The Best Accessory, Always
05/16/11, 11:10:55 am, Categories: My Lovely Life, Free Advice: Take It or Leave It  

Today’s post is very introspective. It’s not about shoes, designer clothing or swimsuit shopping. It’s about how you show up. Every day, the attitude you put forward is noticed more than any accessory you have on your body. The way you treat others—the impact you have—is way more important than anything you can buy in a store. (Even more important than Burberry. Gasp.) And so much of your impact is determined by the group of people you associate with. So I ask:

Do you have friends that bring out the best in you, or the worst in you?

It seems like an easy question, but it’s something that many people seriously need to think about. Someone once said that you’re the product of the 10 people you hang out with most. When you look at those 10 people, do you find that you have more nice things to say about them? Do they embody the kind of attributes and characteristics that you’d like to see in yourself? And finally, are you honest with yourself about the people you hang out with?

This weekend, I thought a lot about the 10 people I hang out with most. They’re honest. They all have good intentions. They’re smart. They’re idealistic. They have good work ethic. They’re confident. They don’t take no for an answer. They’re passionate. They’re all people who want to see me succeed. They help me strive to be a better person by pushing my limits—emotionally and intellectually.

There’s nothing more disheartening than coming across a group of people who feed off each other’s negative habits. And like the old saying, “birds of a feather flock together,” these people flock together just as the intellectuals, cheerleaders, jocks and band geeks might group-up in high school. But these people are bound together by a focus on the negative. They’re followed by a dark cloud of energy that shows itself in the form of gossip, drama, seclusion, unhappiness and greed. And in my opinion, life’s too short to be lived with a focus on those things.

We clean our closets of last season’s threads—trends that have faded as the world deemed them “uncool.” But when it comes to cleaning our relationships, I think we could all do a better job. Out with the old and drabby, in with the new and flattering. And whether you consider yourself a fashionista or not, remember that sometimes your very best accessory could be a great friend.

Archives for: 2011
Pretty Proclamation
05/10/11, 01:51:54 pm, Categories: Pretty Proclamations  

When friends come to me with relationship troubles or job troubles or any kind of troubles, I normally ask them if they're comfortable and happy with themselves. Usually, the answer is more difficult for them to reach than it should be. I really believe that many of life's little troubles (and big troubles) can be solved when people focus on what truly makes them happy, what they're passionate about and what drives them.

"You're always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company."


~Diane von Furstenberg, who reminds us that it's important to love who we are as cliche as that may sound. Don't enjoy your own company? Then do something differently. Go ahead! Make life interesting for yourself, protect the person you've become and treasure all the reasons you're special. One day, that love for yourself will pay off.

Archives for: 2011
Color Your World! Start With Jeans!

When I was about seven, I had numerous pairs of colored jeans. I remember the uber-classy hunter green pair, the red pair and the pink pair— coupled with oversize cartoon character t-shirts, they were all essentials in the early 1990’s (especially if you wanted your third grade glass to like you). Today, however, I see these colored jeans making a comeback in updated shapes and cuts. And I love them just as much as I did when I was seven.

Just last week I wore my bright red-orange ankle jeans to the office with a black shirt and heels. These pants always get a reaction. They’re extremely stylish, but not at all for the faint of heart. After having a good laugh about these pants, one of the ladies in my office sent me a text message later that evening. Low and behold, she was catching up on the latest fashion magazines and came across a spread called, “Style Watch! Everyone’s wearing COLORED JEANS!”

Colored Jeans

Hello Hollywood! Looks like someone was a trendsetter before the paparazzi captured Cameron Diaz, Molly Sims or Khloe Kardashian Odom sporting about town in colorful denim. Pa-ting. Who's laughing now?

So if you want to be like me (or the stars), take this advice to wear colored denim in a carefully stylish way that gets compliments!

1) Get pants that fit. If you’re buying colored denim, don’t but anything that’s too tight—but on the flip side, don’t buy anything that’s too baggy. Make sure you opt for a fit that’s comfortable and has a liberal amount of stretch. If you’re wearing brightly colored pants (like red or green), the last thing you want people looking at is an unsightly silhouette. So choose pants that fit your body shape well and look for a skinny, short jean that hits right at the ankle.

2) Keep it simple. If your pants are brightly colored, your top shouldn’t be. With bright denim, keep the other elements of your outfit simple so you don’t look like a circus. Pair your colored denim with a solid t-shirt or sweater, and top things off with a solid colored blazer. Simple, solid colored accessories (such as gold or silver) will also keep your outfit grounded while adding a little edge and sparkle.

3) Add height. If you’re up for taking a colored denim fashion risk but worried about how colored jeans make your legs look, add some height to be supremely confident. A kitten heel, wedge sandal or stiletto will lengthen the leg and help you stride with pride. Flats or strappy shoes (like gladiator sandals) will shorten your leg.

Colored Denim Jeans

My pick for the season’s hottest colored jeans are by J Brand. Click here to get your very own pair (in a sassy color of your choosing).

Archives for: 2011
Pants On The Ground?
05/09/11, 09:54:38 am, Categories: My Lovely Life  

For the past month I've been planning a charity fashion show. The show was on Saturday and turned out really well (especially given that it was my first time planning a fashion show). But on Friday night, chaos was high and there was lots to get done before the big day. My pre-fashion show list included things like steaming clothes (32 outfits to be exact), finding more people to do hair and make-up (since I had several people cancel just two days before) and choreographing the walks. And then there was the short list of things I needed to do for ME. One thing I really wanted to do was pick up a simple dress to wear to the event. After all, I found out that I'd be up on stage with reporter Michele Tafoya during the show. I needed to look like someone who was capable of organizing a fashion show--not someone who hadn't slept in a week.

So the night before the show, when everything was done, my fashion show helper and I made a mad dash to Macy's in downtown Minneapolis. My focus was on simple sheath dresses (because nothing says "fundraising luncheon" like a sheath dress). I found one I liked almost immediately and ran to try it on. I was so tired from the day's events that I didn't have the energy to peel off my skinny jeans and cowboy boots. I just pulled them down to make sure the dress fit.

While I was trying on this dress, a lady in the dressing room started calling out for help. Being the fashionista that I am, I came to the rescue to dish out fashion advice and help her find the perfect outfit. Problem was, I was still wearing the sheath dress, cowboy boots and skinny jeans. And my fashion show helper was able to snap a picture and post it to Twitter immediately.

Shopping at Macy's

So that's how I helped my new dressing room friend find a good look for her daughter's graduation. Hey, fashion is about breaking the rules, right? Don't judge.

Archives for: 2011
Make Friday Royally Fabulous
04/28/11, 10:17:45 am, Categories: Frivolous Friday, Free Advice: Take It or Leave It  

The Royal Wedding is this week. Oh, you already knew that? Surprise, surprise. Here’s the thing: I don’t actually care about the royal nuptials. And I feel as if I’m the only Burberry-toting fashionista who has this opinion. Everyone is in a flurry of dress, décor and dessert chitchat. But I’m more concerned about what I’m having for lunch Friday than how Will and Kate are celebrating their big day. (Right now I’m thinking Friday is a sushi day.)

Yes, the wedding will be the epitome of old money luxury. Yes, the wedding will be a star-studded event. (Mr. and Mrs. Beckham will be in attendance, as will Sir Elton John, Guy Ritchie and Joss Stone.) At this point you might be thinking, “Well Emily, those two things sound right up your alley.” Here’s the thing: After attending over 20 weddings the past two years of my life, they all start to look same—even the royal type. However, if a surprise Spice Girls reunion takes place at this royal affair, I will kick myself for not watching.

So rather than celebrate the marriage of two people who will likely have no direct impact on your life, I suggest you take a different approach to Friday. This Friday, you should celebrate the princess within.

Princess

How To Make This Friday Positively Princess-y:

Wear all your jewels. Don’t skimp. Invest in a look that’s heavy on the rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. Plan your outfit around your jewelry. Pile on all the sparkles you need to receive a royal blessing.

Toast with Tea. Make time for a spot of this dignified treat (and possibly even a crumpet, too). For the best effect, use a porcelain teacup decorated with dainty roses. Pinkies out!

Bring Elizabethan Back. Pray pardon me. But does thou knowest wherefore we have ceased using such phrases as “off with her head” or “thou art a churlish, knotty-pated wagtail.” Henceforth, Friday thou must bring these royal terms of endearment back from the times of Shakespeare. God save thee!

Play Pretty, Pretty Princess. So you haven’t broken this out since fourth grade? Blasphemy. Blow the dust off this legendary game, call your ladies in waiting and turn this into a supremely classy drinking game. Viola! Your Friday night is complete.

Disney soundtrack. I know this doesn’t follow old English tradition, but nothing says “I’m a princess” like Cinderella belting out “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” Follow that up with “Some Day My Prince Will Come” and cap off your evening on a magic carpet ride and the musical stylings of “A Whole New World” and you might just feel like kissing a frog.

Life's too short to neglect the princess inside. Even if you're not into the royal wedding itself, there's never been a better day to celebrate your princess-like tendencies.

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Archives for: 2011
For All Your Soapy Scandals
04/25/11, 02:18:31 pm, Categories: You Should Get It!, My Lovely Life, Win It!, Beauty  

Given all the time in the world, I would shower at least six times a day. Weird? Absolutely not. Showers feel great. And being clean feels awesome. Way better than being dirty. When I think back to college, I think about girls walking down the dorm room halls saying, “I’ve only showered once this week.” Yeah, I judged them.

I have an ongoing passion for cleanliness. Plus, this week I can’t stop thinking about what my body might be absorbing, and what might be affecting my body in a negative way. To see more on this topic, read this post. The bottom line is, I use a lot of stuff that contains a lot of chemicals. I need to make more of a concerted effort to find the perfect balance of safe, friendly and clean.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been using soap from Metropolis Soap Company based out of Brooklyn, NY. This soap is fantastic stuff and the good news is it’s made with ingredients that I can actually read (so that’s refreshing). Plus, the soap is 100% vegan, too (shout-out to the vegans).

My new favorite soap is The Black Soap Horror. It’s black soap. Scary? Absolutely not. Especially after you experience how smooth and soft your skin feels after using this soap. And if you’re not into black soap, no worries. Metropolis has a range of soapy scents that are guaranteed to be good, clean fun.

Metropolis Soap

I’m loving Metropolis Soap so much that I sat down with master soap maker, Megan, the founder of Metropolis Soap, to find out more about her story.

P&P: What inspired you to create Metropolis Soaps?

Megan: My cousin was born with some serious allergies and we all had to become aware pretty quickly that there were many underlying ingredients in the products we used daily. Becoming more informed about what we couldn't use brought about a better knowledge of what we SHOULD use instead. From there it flowed from food products to beauty products. I was always in love with skincare products, having really awful skin since puberty (it never ends!), and finding out that there were natural approaches to combat skin problems excited me. I wanted to share my knowledge with those out there who had the same problems and didn't know where to turn, thus Metropolis was born.

P&P: As the creator of a soap line, when looking for soap or body washes, what kind of things do you stay away from? What kind of things are good?

Megan: Tough question! It really depends on the skin type a person has. For me, I have perpetually oily skin so I tend to stay away from heavy oils and from animal-based products as they can sometimes clog pores. Good rules of thumb are: avoid petroleum-based products (just because they've been known to clog pores), avoid sulfates as they can be drying and irritating to sensitive skin, and check to see if there is a preservative system in place for water-based products (like lotions). Some people are hesitant to use preservatives but they're really helpful in protecting the product from gross bacteria and there ARE natural-based, paraben-free preservative systems available.

P&P: What makes your soap better than a bar of Dial or Dove? (Obviously, yours is way cuter and has more awesome names…)

Megan: Well, first the FDA will not allow Dove to use the term "soap" on their product because there is no actual soap in there! (It's labeled as a "beauty bar"...seriously!) What makes our soap better is that we have no detergents or additives in our soap, so it's much more gentle for the skin. We also use essential oils rather than fragrances or perfumes, so that there is little chance of irritating the skin. It's one of those things...you don't realize what you've been missing until you actually try handmade soap! You'll never go back to detergent-based soap again!

5) Why are you passionate about soap?

Honestly, I think it stems from the fear of being "the smelly kid" in school! Ha! I was constantly making sure that I stood out in the GOOD ways, and not the bad ways...like being smelly. So ridiculous but I really think that's where my passion stems from!

6) If someone wanted to try your soap, which one would you recommend?

If they have oily/troubled skin I would recommend "The Black Soap Horror", if they have dry/aging skin "Sea Mud...of Death!" is really soothing and moisturizing. All around my favorite scent is "One Night with Rosemary Mint." The scent is just killer!

Metropolis Soap

Want to try your very own bar of Metropolis Soap for FREE? Metropolis will be giving one lucky P&P reader their very own bar of soap. There are three magical (and super easy) ways to enter!

1) COMMENT on this post. Leave your comment in the comments section. Tell me why you want the soap and you’ll get one entry!

2) TWEET about this giveaway. Make sure you mention @PrettyandPoor and @MetropolisSoap. Each tweet is one entry!

3) FACEBOOK Pretty and Poor by becoming a fan and leaving a comment on our wall! Your comment will serve as one entry.

It’s that simple! I will randomly pick one lucky winner from all the entries next Monday! Let’s rid the world of smelly people and unexciting soap. Enter now! And if you’re convinced that Metropolis Soap is right for you, head on over to their website and check out all the fun scents.

*Contest Rules: Must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the United States to enter. Winner will be chosen at random and will be notified via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Archives for: 2011
This Is My Judging Face

On Saturday night I asked my roommate if my outfit was skanky. She looked at me like I was crazy. But I was being totally serious. A Michael Kors turtleneck dress with knee-high boots can totally send out the wrong vibe. You know, that four whole inches of bare leg skin showing between the dress and boot…

So maybe I was overreacting a little bit—possibly evening erring on the prude side of things. But later that night I was reminded of why I even bother double-checking in the first place.

Worst Outfits Ever

These two lovely women of the night were spotted getting a late-night sandwich. If I could have stopped staring long enough to gather my thoughts, I would have given them a business card and suggested we all go shopping—they could have been my best side project yet. But something told me they may have gotten the wrong impression from the exchange of a card.

There are so many things wrong with these looks, I don’t even know where to begin. But the next time I get desperate for an outfit, I might turn to the always-faithful combination of an ill-fitting bra paired with a tube top and no pants.

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Archives for: 2011
A Natural Beauty
04/18/11, 01:13:43 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life  

I am a shameless beauty product whore. (The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?) I don’t give a lot of thought to what I rub on my face, massage into my scalp or slather on my legs. But one thing is for sure, if it comes in a pretty package and it’s guaranteed to make me prettier, I’m a sucker for it.

I recently went to a friend’s house and spied a bag of bath products on the table. These goodies were from a company that makes only natural cosmetics. This bag of products caused quite the commotion as people began going through the soaps, sniffing them and passing them around. The bag even contained goodies like natural massage oils and deodorant—and get this, all of the products were adorable and smelled delightful. Who knew natural could be fun?

The friend who owned the products started to explain that he’d recently taken a good look at everything in his cabinets—throwing out anything with synthetic ingredients and chemicals. He was making the move to natural body products as a commitment to being healthier.

That got my wheels turning. I started to think about all the products I use on a daily basis…

Beauty Products

7:00 a.m. Shower Time. Use extreme violet shampoo to keep brassiness from building up in my delicate blonde hair. Follow-up with a violet conditioner or a deep conditioner for ultimate shininess. Cleanse my face with an exfoliating facial cleanser to keep that doll-face complexion. Use some sort of frilly body wash or bar soap—depending on my mood, of course.

7:15 a.m. More Maintenance. Post shower routine begins. Slather moisturizer on my face. Put deodorant on (body odor is so last year). Brush my teeth with toothpaste (the kind that promises a mega-watt set of chompers) and possibly follow-up with mouthwash for that big-smile feeling. Add foundation to my face. Then the real freak show begins: blush, lips, eyes, powders, pigments and polishes!

7:30 a.m. Hair Care. Rub my damp hair down in a protecting serum that also promises shine. Then, for volume, spray root booster in my roots or use a similar product guaranteed to make me look like a Victoria’s Secret model. Dry hair. Curl or straighten. Spray with a texturizing product. Finish with hairspray.

7:45 a.m. Dressed Up. Decide that my skin feels dry and flakey. Slather lotion all over my body—something that smells delightful and possibly even matches my perfume. Decide that I look too pale. Slather a bronzing lotion all over my body to create the illusion of a weekend spent on the French Riviera. Spritz myself with perfume—usually my signature rose scent.

That’s just in the morning. And that’s just on a normal day. This doesn’t count the days when my product quota goes above and beyond—like if I add an intense eye cream to my regimen to combat a rough night! To be honest, the sheer amount of stuff I put on my body was alarming, and I’d never once paused to peruse the ingredients.

Following that fateful realization, I’ve become increasingly aware of all the stuff I use. I’ve even started glancing at ingredients in my products…and most of the products I use are riddled with things I need a chemistry degree to pronounce. I’m by no means a doctor (although, I have tried that “trust me” line before), but all of this unnatural stuff makes me a wee bit uneasy. Especially given the frequency of use.

"Most of the products I use are riddled with things I need a chemistry degree to pronounce. I’m by no means a doctor (although, I have tried that “trust me” line before), but all of this unnatural stuff makes me a wee bit uneasy."

So I’ve made a commitment to be more aware of the stuff I use—everything from sunscreen, deodorant and hair care products to body lotions. What about you? Have you paused to consider everything you use and the implications it might have on your skin? Your body? Your well-being?

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Archives for: 2011
What A Croc
04/13/11, 08:59:22 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life, Would You Wear It?, What I'm Wearing Today!, Let's Judge!  

Last week I wore Crocs. What’s that? You want to revoke my fashion license immediately? I don’t blame you. Until recently, I’d passionately sworn off the vulgar ideal of plastic clogs with holes in them. In fact, I was verbal in speaking out against such figure-unflattering footwear. But then I went to Boulder, Colorado and all that changed.

My father recently started working for Crocs and he’s completely embraced the company’s culture and style. He only wears Crocs now. This isn’t altogether shocking for my dad—he’s never really gotten into the look of sleek, Italian loafers—so the Crocs were actually a welcome change. Every time I see him now, he’s sporting a new pair of Crocs. And none of them are the brightly colored clogs with holes. In fact, most of the Crocs he wears pass for “normal” shoes. I remember being shocked a couple months ago when he showed up to dinner with modern hipster shoes that were surprisingly made by Crocs.

Since his new adventure, my Dad has outfitted the entire family in Crocs. As of last week, everyone had a pair or two except for his beloved princess daughter. But all that changed when he took me to the Crocs store in downtown Boulder. I went into the store fully anticipating coming out empty-handed. I was not planning on buying Crocs. But after perusing the styles and trying on several different types of shoes, a few styles left me surprised. Sure, Crocs might still be plastic shoes…and might always be notorious for those clogs…but many of the new styles they had looked better than half of what I see people sporting around the grocery store in. So I bit the bullet and bought a pair of Crocs flats. And I didn’t stop there. I also bought Jibbitz to adorn them with—you know, the little things you stick into the holes on the Crocs? Yeah, I have a pair of crocs with blinged-out Jibbitz all over them now. I look like a four-year-old with unusually large feet.

Last week I wore said Crocs to the office on Friday with a nautical chic outfit (I removed the Jibbitz, though). Cute skinny ankle jeans, a red and blue striped nautical shirt, a white jacket and white flat Crocs. While some people said, “You make those look good” others just looked at me and squinted their eyes a little bit. Faces of judgment. All of this mixed emotion was throwing me for a loop. So, I did the most logical thing I could think of: I posted about my Crocs on Facebook. Here are some of the comments my friends left for me.

“EWWWW!”

“Oh Emily…not Crocs!”

“Ummmmm, what’s next? Uggs?”

“THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CUTE CROCS, EMILY! God, do I have to go out there and stage and intervention?”

But then there were some much nicer comments, too.

“That’s what I like about you Emily…always willing to go against the flow!!! Go girl!!!”

“Emily, when you are a trendsetter it doesn’t matter if things were previously fashionable or not, once you wear them they become fashionable.”

And that was it. I just needed to hear that I was a trendsetter and my ego inflated once more. I mean, I’m sure the first few times people wore Moon Boots or Zubaz they were harassed, too. Right? I'm a trailblazer.

In all seriousness, I was surprised that Crocs had the selection of women’s shoes they did. Coming from a girl who wears stilettos 99.9% of the week, my feet will love that I occasionally stuff them into Crocs now. Check out these styles to be a little surprised yourself.

Crocs

Crocs

Crocs Rain Boots

Crocs platforms

And for the record, I don’t plan to stop wearing my Crocs any time soon. They were a much-needed break from my oh-la-la fashionista shoes. Go ahead, judge all you want.

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Archives for: 2011
Pretty Proclamation
04/12/11, 10:22:28 pm, Categories: Pretty Proclamations  

Remember that boy (the one that made you blush) who told you that you were weird in second grade? Or when that girl walked up to you on the playground and said your outfit was funny looking? Well, those two people are probably really ugly now (let's be honest). Eh, I digress. What I really mean to say here is that sometimes, life can feel a lot like that playground. Just when you think your uniqueness is valued--just when you feel special for being you--someone calls you out for being "different." And how does that make you feel? Yeah, you can get beat down. Even the most bold fashionistas are entitled to a day sans confidence. So the next time you need a fresh confidence check, throw your hair to the side, look fiercely in the mirror and remember this line.


"Embrace your uniqueness. Time is much too short to be living someone else's life."

~Kobi Yamada, one of my favorite inspirational authors, who reminds us that it's always okay to be unique when we're focusing on our goals and aspirations. (And if your goals and aspirations include mastering the art of wearing leopard print, then more power to ya', girl.)

Archives for: 2011
Lessons We Can All Learn From Charlie Sheen
03/29/11, 12:30:44 pm, Categories: Free Advice: Take It or Leave It  

Charlie Sheen is a hot topic in Hollywood right now. He’s making headlines for his eccentric lifestyle littered with goddesses, interviews-gone-awry and tense YouTube testimonials. He’s causing a commotion. But I like it. It’s wildly entertaining and it makes for great content on TMZ every night. But if you start to look past the publicity and marketing monster that Sheen has created in the last month, there are a few lessons we can learn from him and his words. After all, inside every total diva there’s a little Sheen just waiting to bust out. C’mon, with the right outfit, accessories and bright lipstick, who wouldn’t feel like a total frickin’ rock star from Mars?

Below, I reveal some of my favorite Charlie Sheen quotes and what we can actually learn from them!

Charlie Sheen

“Sorry my life is so much more bitchin’ than yours. I planned it that way.”
This one is easy. If you want something that’s completely fantastic, you have to go get it! You want more friends? Go meet people. You want more money? Get a new job or more jobs. You want a nice boyfriend? Go on a bunch of dates. You want a totally rockin’ outfit? Then don’t wear black leggings every day. You want more compliments on your hair? Get a sassy new haircut. Plan your life to match the level of bitchin’ you want to attain.

“It’s about winning. Sorry.”
It’s always about winning. Even if you lose sometimes, try to forget about it and move on! Remember your wins and use those to propel you forward. After all, people don’t get to the top of the “best dressed” list without taking a few fashion risks (some that pay off and some that don’t). So you bought a bubble hem skirt that you thought was really cute until you looked at pictures of yourself wearing it? Then you realized it makes your butt look huge. That’s unfortunate. Give the skirt to charity, and move on (sticking to a more streamlined shape). That one loss will allow you to win more in the future. See? It’s really about winning.

"Women are not to be hit, they're to be hugged and caressed."
Duh. The only thing he forgot to mention is that women should also be provided with lavish gifts, like diamonds by the bucketful.

So there you have it. Charlie Sheen says you should plan your life to be bitchin’, always win and find a man who treats you like a total frickin’ rock star from Mars. That’s advice I can stand behind, because that’s how I roll.

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Archives for: 2011
My Moments of Brilliance
03/28/11, 06:04:24 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life  

Today at work we did a strengths coaching session. These are normally pretty fun and introspective as you learn stuff about yourself that you weren’t previously clued into. And then again, sometimes they just reiterate those things you already know about yourself.

Today we had to list our “moments of brilliance”—and we had to think of lots of moments. Several of my moments fell into a particular category. Here, I’ll let you see for yourself.

Moments of Brilliance

And while these may seem like mindless specks of my life, they actually taught me a little bit about myself. I like to be recognized. I like achieving things. And I like to express myself in my own particular ways. Oh, and I have a shopping problem.

If you’re in the Minneapolis area and looking for a great strengths coach or someone to help you tap into your inner fabulous, check out Cunnington Shift.

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Archives for: 2011
You Can't Have a Diet Without the DIE
03/15/11, 01:57:54 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life  

I wasn’t going to blog about this. But screw it. I am. You guys are probably WILDLY curious to know exactly what’s going on in my life at any given minute (especially since I now blog about once per month). So, why not let you in on all my crazy (not just some of it).

I am on a diet. Gross. Eck. Disgusting. And I’m not even going to try the pull the whole, “I don’t believe in diets, this is a healthy lifestyle change,” shenanigans. This, my friends, is a diet. Plain and simple. Summer is about three months away and for some reason, my appearance in a swimsuit is bothering me this year.

When you live in Minnesota and don’t get out in the sun during the entire winter, your appearance starts to resemble a giant bowl of cottage cheese or mashed potatoes—white and lumpy. Add that to the 70 hours a week you spend at your office and BAM! Suddenly, none of your jeans fit.

Since I’ve been pressed for both time and clean laundry lately, a diet is the only thing that seems to make sense. I’ll spend less time eating (because when you don’t waste time eating you can do other things). And as I slim down I’ll be able to dive into the depths of my closet to wear things that I haven’t busted out since college. Meaning laundry won’t be as pressing. Everybody wins.

Before you haul off and judge me, let’s clarify a couple things. Number one: I love me. Even with an extra ten pounds, I still think I’m fabulous. Number two: I do not endorse crash dieting—in fact, I realize that many people struggle with eating. I simply want to make an effort to be healthier (and skinnier) after a long winter of abusing my body.

Here are some highlights from my adventures in eating celery so far:

:: Cake Pop My Bubble. At Starbuck’s the super-nice barista asked me if I wanted one of the new Petites on-the-house. For those of you who don’t know what Starbuck’s new Petites are, they’re essentially cake pops. They’re adorable. They embody the very essence of my soul—just not when I’m trying to squeeze into my Burberry Bikini. So instead of politely declining, a look of pure agony washed over my face as I shouted, “Nooooo!” The barista pulled the plate away in horror and mumbled, “Okay.” Then I spent five minutes explaining why frosting covered cake on a stick sent me into a total tizzy.

:: Don’t be a Dilly Bar. Someone brought Dilly Bars into the office. This hasn’t happened in months. And naturally, it happens when I swear off carbs, fats, sugars, calories…

:: Running in Heels? Dieting works better if you exercise. While I’d prefer to exercise in heels and boots, I’d get funny looks. Let me break this down for you: I have over 100 pairs of shoes. One of those pairs is appropriate for exercising. And I have no idea where that one pair of shoes is. I spent all last week attempting to locate my athletic shoes (if that’s even what they’re called). So last night I broke down and bought a new pair of kicks. Asics. I really wish I could have spent that money on leopard print heels or something.

There are some upsides to my little diet endeavor. Well, there’s really just one: I’ll only need a single martini for an entire night out. Here’s to swimsuit season!

Archives for: 2011
No Brakes Allowed
03/02/11, 06:21:55 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life  

I’ve been M.I.A for quite some time now. If you keep up with me on Twitter, chances are you get a few more snippets from my daily life. But my life lately has been all about work. Well guess what? All work and no play makes Emily really frickin’ boring. I can’t think of shopping. Can’t even fathom fashion. I’m losing my will to accessorize. I’m slowly becoming the anti-girl.

In a desperate attempt to add color to my life earlier this week, I decided to dress like Rachel Zoe. It was good inspiration to follow because I haven’t done laundry in over a month, and the only things hanging in my closet were adorned with fur and sequins. So I dressed the part. Big hair. A sequins tunic. Black Jacket. Leopard print scarf. Black leggings and chunky riding boots all topped off with oversized Fendi glasses and some serious attitude. I called the look Hollywood casual. It cheered me up a little bit—but still didn’t help with my laundry or workload.

Then I pulled a stunt worthy of a bad reality show. No, I didn’t fall. (For those of you that don’t know, I’m like an 80-year-old woman with two bad hips, I fall constantly. Trip over my own feet, miss a step or seven…you name it, I find a way to fall over it. Anyway, I went through the Starbuck’s drive-thru on my way to work (wearing sequins). I pulled up to the window to pay and my friendly barista and I had a little conversation—I am, after all, a gold card member. Pretty sure the baristas are required to talk to me. Then, as the barista was running my payment, I picked up my phone to check my messages (I’m so popular).

When I looked up to grab my coffee and get my card back, I was staring at a brick wall. Somehow, while checking my messages I had lifted my foot off the break just enough to slide 10 feet forward. The window was long gone and my barista was staring at the back of my car. (Sidenote: This weekend I took my annual ski trip with my friends. To make the trip up north, I switched cars with my Dad. That means that I’m currently driving a seven-passenger man bus this week—also known as a Chevy Suburban.) As I looked in my rearview mirror, I noticed that the man behind me had already scooted up, too. False alarm, sucker! I whipped the ‘burban into reverse as the man behind me starting freaking out. Apparently, putting his car in reverse was a huge ordeal. Oh well.

When I finally realigned my window with the Starbuck’s window, my barista was violently laughing and apologizing for laughing so much. Turns out the guy behind me was causing quite a scene making faces and flailing his hands in the air. All because I accidentally took my foot off the brake.

Moral of the story? Brakes are boring. They stop things. Take your foot off the brake once in a while and go! Wear sequins to work. Shake things up. Sure, you might make the stodgy man behind you mad, but when it comes to life, sometimes you need to just step on it and go!

Archives for: 2011
Pretty Proclamation
02/09/11, 01:26:26 pm, Categories: Pretty Proclamations  

Sometimes I leave the house wearing head-to-toe sequins accented with a little leopard print. Sometimes, when I feel like it, I wear crazy leggings. Other times, I'll accessorize to the nines for no reason than to look a little over the top. I encourage you to rock looks that you love, no matter how much attention they garner.

"It is better to be looked over than overlooked."

~Mae West, who said it best. Who wants to blend in and be ignored? It's way more fun to stand out and get a few looks every once and a while...let's just hope they're looks of admiration.

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Archives for: 2011
Shoe-Per Bowl Sunday
02/07/11, 10:26:07 am, Categories: Fashionable & Fun, My Lovely Life  

Life is all about balance. Right? Take yesterday, for example. I knew I had to watch football for at least four hours, so I balanced out my life by buying four pairs of shoes before the big game. I called this my Shoe-per Bowl Sunday.

Gucci Driving Mocassin

I struck gold with two pairs of Gucci driving mocassins—an all time favorite shoe of mine (perfect for casual wear that still looks refined). I also snagged a pair of zebra print heels (not casual, nor refined) and heeled riding boots.

And thanks to some of the great deals at DSW, my Shoe-per Bowl was a big win!

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Archives for: 2011
Little Kid Couture
02/03/11, 02:09:21 pm, Categories: Fashionable & Fun, A Really Bad Decision  

This morning I walked into Starbucks and as I opened the door, a little girl of around four years old began gasping and tugging at her daddy’s sleeve.

“Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! Dad! That lady has the same sunglasses as me,” she gasped while pointing at me. “We have the same sunglasses!”

Damn. I thought as I strode by. Girl’s got good taste. Prada cat eyes. Hopefully that’s Daddy’s Maserati parked outside. Because if he doesn’t have money already, he’s sure gonna’ need it with a kid like you around.

Then I started thinking. Did Prada intend for these glasses to look like something a four year old would wear? Perhaps she was just confused. Maybe her Barbie has the same pair and she thinks I look like her Barbie doll. That’s adorable. But wait, what if she really does have these glasses?

It’s this thought that led me on a quest through the world of little kid couture. I wanted to see what some on America’s wealthiest kids might be into wearing. And I really wanted to see if Prada made my frames for little faces.

Children's Burberry Backpack

Jansport is so passé. Real ballers rock Burberry backpacks. And in light pink, who wouldn’t want to kick this around the school bus floor? (Oh, wait…you probably get driven to school in your Maybach. So in that case, a $295 backpack makes perfect sense.)

Mason Pearson Child's Hairbrush

As a child, my hair was constantly soaked in “No More Tangles” in an attempt to calm my screaming whenever someone took a brush to my hair after a shower or swim. If only my Mom would have splurged for this $85 Mason Pearson childs pink sensitive bristle hair brush. I’m sure I wouldn’t have left this at a friend’s house after a sleepover…

Gucci Hello Kitty Collection for Kids

Kids love wearing cartoon characters on their clothing. I always wanted Princess Jasmine shoes when I was little. But for the discerning parent, you can now shop Gucci’s Hello Kitty collection. You know, so your children can sport cartoon character clothing without the stigma of shopping at K-Mart. Snag this dress for an easy $320.

Dolce and Gabanna Shoes Babies

And for all that walking your newborn will be doing, there’s Dolce and Gabanna silp-ons. A trend you can tread on for $105.

And after all this searching, I still couldn’t find a pair of Prada cat eyes for kids. Which made me breathe a huge sigh of relief. But this search through the world of kiddy couture definitely got my wheels turning. And here’s what I’ve concluded. Parents, fight the urge to buy your kid a $300 jumper. Your four-year-old will be just as happy in something with Hannah Montana’s face on it. Instead, take the money you’d spend on this stuff, put it in a “couture fund” and let her tap into it when she’s 20. She’ll thank you later.

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Archives for: 2011
Who Sits Here?
02/01/11, 03:56:31 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life, A Little Piece of Fabulous  

The people in my office are great fun. And occasionally, they'll leave a little surprise like this waiting on me. Over the weekend, someone changed my name plate out. Go ahead, take a look...

Diane Von Furstenberg

Hey, at least someone pays attention to what I wear!

Archives for: 2011
Falling Down
01/25/11, 07:26:17 am, Categories: My Lovely Life  

Falling down is the absolute worst. And no, I’m not talking about metaphorically falling down (the kind where you pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, learn something and then get on your way). I’m talking about flat out falling on your ass. You can be dressed to the nines, dripping in diamonds, have a mega-watt smile and still look like the world’s biggest idiot just by falling down. You could be the most attractive person on the planet and manage to look like a huge goober just by taking a tumble. There is nothing chic about falling down.

Which is why it was so hilarious when I took a spill this weekend.

I was hosting an all-boys cocktail party. I was the only girl. (I invited girls…it’s just that only boys showed up.) As we all sat around discussing foreign policy, cigars and our friend’s new haircut, plans for the rest of the evening also came up. It was decided that we’d go to the W. Then it was decided that I’d have to put on something way more adorable than what I was already wearing. I opted for a black sweater dress with black tights, big earrings and knee-high boots. Simple, yet chic.

Right before we were set to leave for the W, I remembered that I needed to go grab something from my bedroom. I sprang up from a chair and leapt to the hallway where my tight-clad food made contact with the wood floor (for about 1/16 of a second) and then went sliding in the opposite direction. Before my other foot could make contact with anything my left knee was abruptly slammed into the floor while my left leg violently whipped out in the opposite direction and came to a screeching halt against the floor.

Jaws dropped. Laughs started to swell. And somewhere along the line a “holy shit” was uttered.

As I caught my breath and swished around on the floor trying to untangle my legs and get up (all while laughing hysterically), the guys sitting in my living room started screaming and shouting, “No!” “No!” “Nooooo….” Hands flew up. Eyes closed. Heads turned the other direction.

And just like that, everyone knew what color underwear I was wearing.

It’s bad enough to take a spill. It’s mortifying when you flash the world on your way up. But just like the metaphor goes, you pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and learn not to wear such brightly colored polka dot underwear next time around.

Archives for: 2011
I Need a Hand!
01/24/11, 01:33:45 pm, Categories: Fashionable & Fun, You Should Get It!, My Lovely Life  

I recently joined the rest of the cool crowd and made the switch to the iPhone. I realize I was only about three years late on this, but give me a break. I’ve never claimed to be up on the latest technology. Shoes, on the other hand? Now that’s something I try to keep up with!

To be honest, making the switch to the iPhone has not been as glamorous as I anticipated. Sure, I have an app that allows me to look at Diane Von Furstenberg’s collections at the drop of a hat, but my iPhone typing skills are well below average. My opposable thumbs have been missing the workout my old Blackberry provided and autocorrect has become my new worst enemy. Apparently, autocorrect doesn’t take too well to made-up words like “faboo.”

And then one day I realized I couldn’t answer my iPhone while wearing my super-chic leather driving gloves. That's too bad considering I live in a place where the average temperature last week was about zero degrees. (One morning it was -29 degrees. You think I kid? Try again.) I realized that if I wanted to answer my phone I had to take off my gloves, or learn how to do it with my nose. Both horrible options.

Then, one night while strolling through the Nordstrom accessories department, I met a fabulous man who changed my life. We started talking about silk scarves (which automatically meant we were soul mates) then switched to a conversation about winter accessories. Then, homeboy dropped a bomb on me: he told me they carried gloves that work with iPhones. Apparently, they have little magic tips on the end that work your iPhone just like your fingers do. And they’re actually cute gloves.

Echo Tech Gloves

So here, ladies, is my ode to technology for the month. The Echo Touch Glove is an innovation that every chilly-fingered lady with an iPhone must invest in. They’re cute enough to wear any time—not just on those days you can’t put your phone down. They’re stylish (check out those ruffles). And they work just fine for keeping your hands warm on your daily commute to and from work or a night out with friends. And the best part is, you can keep them on while you use your phone.

The gloves come in an assortment of colors. They range in size from small to extra large (the xl being for those of you with big hands). Mine (size large for those of you who care) have stretched out a tad. I now wish I would have gotten a medium. But I suppose I’ll need a pair next year, too.

So what’s the price you have to pay to use your phone without taking your gloves off? These bad boys will set you back around $35 buck-a-roos.

Check out all the colors and get your own pair here.

Archives for: 2011
Pretty Proclamation
01/24/11, 12:55:54 pm, Categories: Pretty Proclamations  

Throughout the years, one of the people who has always had a lot to say about my outfits is my dad. His snarky comments usually sent me running back to my bedroom in tears during my teen years. But today, getting these comments is usually a hilarious happening that's rather endearing. It's almost something I now aspire to reach each time I see him. Usually, these comment start with a compliment, like "You like nice..." But these comments end with a twist. "You like nice...but I didn't know leopard print was acceptable for the office." Or, "That's a cute shirt...but that skirt really accentuates the size of your knees."

I met my Dad at the mall over the weekend to help him pick out some new shoes. Per usual, he had something to say about my outfit.

"You look very nice today! Very innocent...although that's probably not the case at all."

~My Dad, the fashion analyst extraordinaire who is never lost for words about my look. And who knows that one of my very favorite things to do is cause trouble, despite how I'm dressed.

And this whole thing leads me to believe that it's always okay to look innocent. But being truly innocent? Well, what's the fun in that?

Archives for: 2011
You’ll Be Different When…
01/18/11, 12:42:10 pm, Categories: My Lovely Life, A Bucket Of Diamonds, Free Advice: Take It or Leave It  

Yesterday, I had an unnerving epiphany: It seems the world is constantly rooting for us to change. Sure, change is good at times—it’s what prompts us to try new things, take risks and sometimes step outside our comfort zones. But the type of change I observed yesterday was a notion that at some point in your life, you go through a change that churns you up and spits you out to mirror everyone else. And there’s no fun (nor benefit) in everyone changing into the same thing. I’ve heard it once and I’ll hear it again.

“You’ll change when you go to college.”
“You’ll change when you get a real job.”
“You’ll change when you fall in love.”
“You’ll change when you get married.”
“You’ll change when you have kids.”
“You’ll change when you’re my age.”

The fact is: who wants to change that much? Who wants lose their glimmer of individuality just because they hit a certain point in their life?

Case and point: I dressed up almost every day for high school and I never heard the end of it. My sweatpants-wearing compadres, and even my teachers and my parent’s friends told me that I’d change in college. That I’d wake up and crawl to classes in my pajama pants while wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Guess what? That most certainly did not happen. I was the girl in college who dressed up for class. I stayed true to my beliefs that a strong outward presentation was more important than my comfort. And one day, I had a professor remember me as the girl who “dressed nice for class.” I stood out in an auditorium of 200 people. I stood out.

At this stage in my life, people are just waiting until I happen across Mister Right. (My guess is that one day I’ll find him riding a unicorn, carrying a bucket of diamonds and offering me endless amounts of expensive shoes…at the same time.) If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you know that I’m a bit sassy, strong-willed and independent. And for some odd reason, the world thinks that’s going to change, too. “You’ll change when you find that perfect someone.” Really? Because I sure hope I don’t become a giant pushover who dislikes intelligent conversations and loses my feisty demeanor. Come on, what’s wrong with a little sass?

Hold on to your individuality. I’m a firm believer that the world will find significant value in what you have to offer—no matter how unique that is. In fact, I believe that if you embrace what makes you different than everyone else, you set yourself up for lifelong success.

Yesterday, someone told me that I’d change once I turned 30. And just like that, the sassy, stubborn, somewhat hard-headed princess within me began to awaken. “No,” I said, “I don’t think I will.”

Archives for: 2011
Chief Crazy Pants Strikes Again
01/16/11, 10:52:31 am, Categories: What I'm Wearing Today!  

Why wear boring pants when you can wear pants with pizzazz and personality? Last spring, I debuted a pair of bright, red-orange ankle jeans and earned myself the nickname “Chief Crazy Pants” from one of my friends. Last week, I took a similar fashion risk and found myself quite pleased with the results.

Shopping after the holidays, I came across a pair of leggings that truly spoke to me. They were a funky print by Hue. I couldn’t tell if they were an abstract camo, droopy emo flowers or animal print. Either way, I was intrigued by their pattern and loved the colors of the leggings. So I took them home with me.

I contemplated how to wear them for days after buying them. But I finally opted for a “casual Friday” look with spunk and sass.

Crazy Pants

What do you think? Are crazy pants a go? Or a big fat no?

My personal experience was that these leggings garnered a lot of attention. Most people said they LOVED them (especially the fashionable ladies I see every day). I’m planning on wearing them again and embracing the craziness. If you can’t have a little fun with your pants, what can you have fun with?

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Archives for: 2011
Pretty Proclamation
01/02/11, 04:01:53 pm, Categories: Pretty Proclamations  

After I purchase an article of clothing I really want I usually rip off the tag in a shopping-induced frenzy upon arriving home so I can wear the outfit immediately. I toss the tag in the garbage, save the extra button and never think twice. But recently, I took the tag off a dress and instead of carelessly throwing it in the trash, I opened it, read it and smiled. Today's Pretty Proclamation comes to us in the form a picture!

Diane Von Furstenberg Quote

~Diane Von Furstenberg, who will always, always, always make you feel like a woman. She's one of my favorite designers for a reason-- she knows what women want to wear! And if you're still looking for a new year's resolution, you could always resolve to wear more dresses.

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